Short Game…Short Game…Short Game

Short Game? Yeah It’s Important! So is Getting Off The Tee…Schedule Your Custom Club Fitting And Start Building A Better Golf Game

A few days ago, I spent a couple of hours at a very popular, highly trafficked public golf course. My 12-year-old son and I were chipping, putting and basically just working on our golf game. While standing in the middle of an area right between the driving range and the practice green, I made an observation that I’m sure many others have noticed as well. I pulled out my smart phone and snapped a quick photo of the driving range … 27 players on the range hitting golf balls. Some were hitting irons, most hitting drivers and one or two hitting wedges. I then quickly turned around and snapped a photo of the practice green (you know where this is going). ONE player on the practice putting green … ONE!! Granted, some of the players on the driving range were not all super serious about improving their golf game, as they were for just pure entertainment. That being said, I’ve heard many times the moniker “Short game, short game, short game!” I agree, to a certain extent, that the short game is the most important aspect in golf. More shots are lost and saved around and on the greens in every round. HOWEVER, according to golf pro Pat Dolan who interviewed Ben Hogan in the early 1960s, Hogan said that the tee shot is the most important in golf – especially the very first one. Hogan believed when you begin a round with an excellent tee shot your mental attitude would carry forward on all succes sive shots. On the flip side, the legendary teaching pro Harvey Penick strongly believed that the short game, around the green, was the essence of scoring well. He contended that a two-foot putt counted just as much as a tee shot. Yet, others believe that the “next” shot is the most important.

While a case can be made for all three of the above examples, my opinion is that the most important shot is the tee shot. Why? A tee shot that goes awry, or even out-of-bounds, can cost you more than a missed two-foot putt. In the above-mentioned interview Mr. Hogan said, “If you are trying to make a two-foot putt for a seven, due to an errant tee shot, who in the hell cares? After all, a missed two foot putt will generally only cost you one shot, whereas a missed tee shot can easily cost you two or more shots.” When I’m able to get off the tee box with a decent or good drive, it gives me confidence on the next shot and I don’t have to WORRY about how I’m going to save par or bogey. I can handle missing a 4-foot putt for par MUCH more than I can handle hooking a ball into the drink or out-of-bounds. If I hit one out of play on a typical Par 4, I’m lucky to save bogey. The tee shot, especially when using the driver, can really make or break a round.

Within the past 30 days I’ve been able to custom fit two different players who experienced an extra 45-50 yards off the tee! We see 20 to 25 yard improvements every week. How is this possible? One of the players who noticed a 45-50 yard increase in distance is a guy name Sean. Sean is 31 years old, 5-feet-10-inches tall, weighs around 165 pounds and is pretty athletic. His average swing speed with the driver was around 101 MPH with a very easy tempo. Sean’s current driver was averaging 101 MPH swing speed, -4.0 Attack Angle (very steep), 3550 Spin Rate (very high,we want closer to 2000 RPM’s of spin) and a total rollout distance of 241 yards. With that data from Trackman, I ended up fitting Sean with a lower-spin driver head and a driver shaft two flexes stiffer than his current one. I explained to Sean that we needed to make a couple of tweaks to his swing path in order to get him coming more inside and catching the ball on the UPSWING (an ascending strike). After a few swings with this adjustment, Sean hit several drives over 285 yards. His swing speed jumped up to 104 MPH on average, 0.8+ Attack Angle (4.8* less steep), 2250 Spin Rate and a total rollout distance of 286 yards. In just 15 minutes of work Sean saw a 45-yard increase on average, his longest coming in at 292 yards. We are able to help players gain serious distance and accuracy with the help of TRACKMAN’s Doppler Radar Technology. Hitting drives longer and in the fairway leads to lower scores and much happier times on the 19th hole! Do yourself a favor and get custom fit and custom built golf clubs. CHEERS!

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